Rich, fudgy and chocolatey, these Pecan Peanut Butter Cup Frosted Brownies are packed with crushed pecans and chopped peanut butter cups before being frosted with a chocolate yoghurt whip. They are vegan, gluten-free and made with wholesome ingredients.
These brownies are so rich and moreish, you won’t be able to stop at one. The light and fluffy chocolatey frosting turns these from really good brownies to really amazing brownies, and instead of just using chocolate chips, these use chocolate peanut butter cups taking these to a whole new level. When paired with autumnal pecans, they are perfect for the start of the cosy season.
Why will I love these brownies?
These brownies are a new favourite for a few reasons. They are:
Rich, fudgy, chocolatey and indulgent
Nutty, crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth
Sweet but not too sweet
Made with wholesome ingredients (brownies that are basically good for you!)
Naturally vegan, gluten-free and easily nut-free
Quick and easy to make and bake
Topped with a light yoghurt-based frosting
A source of protein, fibre and healthy fats
Great for all the family for desserts and snacks
If you already love the sound of these brownies then skip ahead to the recipe card. First, let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.
What ingredients do I need?
These brownies use wholesome ingredients for the base and the frosting. Firstly, the brownies:
Thick coconut yoghurt: Cocos Organic coconut yoghurt is always my favourite to make with as it is really thick and creamy, great for baking with. I like the natural or the vanilla flavoured one, both use only the most natural and simplest of ingredients. If using a different yoghurt, make sure it’s thick like a dairy-free Greek-style yoghurt.
Mashed banana or applesauce: for sweetness, moisture and binding the batter.
Smooth runny peanut butter: the runny, smooth kind of peanut butter is best for texture and overall appearance of these brownies. Ideally, one that is 100% peanuts without additives is best and if you are avoiding peanuts or nuts, swap this for runny, smooth almond or cashew butter or sunflower seed butter or tahini for a nut-free option.
Maple syrup: for sweetness and making a smooth batter. You can swap this for other sticky syrups like agave, tapioca, rice syrup or vegan honey.
Coconut sugar: for sweetness. I like the richness of coconut sugar (which is also refined sugar free) but light brown, golden or regular caster sugar can also be used.
Vanilla essence: for flavour.
Buckwheat flour or plain flour: I love baking with buckwheat flour as it has a fine texture and lovely nutty flavour and is naturally wheat and gluten-free (despite the name). Plain flour is also great here to keep the texture rich and fudgy. You can try these with a gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum that is 1:1 baking, although I have not tried this.
Oat flour: make your own oat flour by blending oats (gluten-free where needed) to a fine flour and keeping for up to 2 months in a sealed jar.
Cocoapowder: for rich chocolatey goodness. Make sure it’s raw, with no added sugars and cacao powder can also be used here.
Chocolate protein powder: for more chocolatey goodness and a lovely rich, moreish and slightly “dense” texture (but in a good way). I love the chocolate peanut butter cup or deluxe chocolate protein from Macr0mike (save 10% off everything with code AMB-AMY here).
Bicarbonate of soda and salt: for rise and flavour.
Peanut butter cups: I used the mini dark chocolate cups from Pip & Nut which are fairly new here in the UK and are vegan (the milk chocolate ones are not vegan) but you can use regular sized cups, too, just chop them up. If you cannot find nut butter cups, use chocolate chips.
Pecans: to keep these autumnal, I love using sweet nutty pecans. If not, you can swap these for hazelnuts or walnuts or keep these nut-free by skipping the nuts.
As for the frosting:
Thick coconut yoghurt: as above, the thicker the better.
Smooth runny peanut butter: if swapping this for another nut/seed butter for the brownies you can do the same here.
Cocoa powder: for richness.
Chocolate protein powder: for chocolate richness and thickness. I used the same as above.
How do I make these?
These Pecan Peanut Butter Cup Frosted Brownies are easy to make in a few steps:
Whisk together the wet ingredients: till smooth and creamy.
Add in the dry ingredients: and stir or whisk to a thick brownie batter.
Fold in most of the chocolate peanut butter cups and pecans: and spread into an 8-inch square tin.
Top with extra chocolate cups and pecans: and bake for 19 to 21 minutes, till firming at the edges but they will be fudgy in the middle. An inserted skewer will come out slightly fudgy with batter.
Cool for 30 minutes in the tin before moving: as they will firm up as they cool.
Cool fully on a wire rack before frosting: otherwise, the frosting will melt off.
Stir or whisk together the frosting ingredients: till smooth.
Spread the frosting over the brownies: and decorate with extra peanut butter cups and crushed pecans.
How long will these brownies last?
Keep these brownies in the fridge in a sealed container for 3-5 days. They will continue to firm up as they cool and may feel “hard” from the fridge but soon soften as they sit at room temperature for 20 minutes and are still really rich and fudgy. You can also freeze the brownies for up 1 month, wrapped well. Allow to defrost thoroughly before enjoying.
Are these brownies gluten-free and nut-free?
Yes, these Pecan Peanut Butter Cup Frosted Brownies are naturally gluten-free if using buckwheat flour and making sure your oats are gluten-free. To make these brownies nut-free, swap the peanut butter for runny smooth sunflower seed butter or tahini and swap the chocolate nut butter cups and pecans for chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.
Can I turn these into un-frosted brownies?
Yes, these brownies are delicious as they are, without the frosting. After the 30 minutes mark of cooling, lift them out the tin and you can now slice them carefully and enjoy warm.
What else can I bake?
I hope you are going to love these Pecan Peanut Butter Cup Frosted Brownies and for more brownies and chocolate bakes, how about my:
Rich, fudgy and chocolatey, these Pecan Peanut Butter Cup Frosted Brownies are packed with crushed pecans and chopped peanut butter cups before being frosted with a chocolate yoghurt whip.
For the Brownies:
150g vanilla or natural thick coconut yoghurt
100g mashed banana or applesauce
100g smooth, runny peanut butter
3 tbsp maple syrup
75g coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
60g buckwheat flour, or plain flour
40g oat flour
40g cocoa powder, sifted
40g chocolate protein powder, sifted if needed
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
70g peanut butter cups, chopped
50g pecans, chopped
For the Frosting:
200g vanilla or natural thick coconut yoghurt
1 tbsp smooth, runny peanut butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp chocolate protein powder
Extra peanut butter cups, chopped
Extra pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line an 8-inch square baking tin with parchment paper.
Whisk together the yoghurt, banana or applesauce, peanut butter, maple syrup, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.
Pour in the buckwheat and oat flours, and the sifted cocoa powder chocolate protein powder. Add the bicarbonate of soda and salt and stir to a thick and smooth batter.
Fold in most of the chopped peanut butter cups and pecans and transfer into the tin. Smooth over the top and press in the remaining peanut butter cups and pecans (you can add more if you like).
Bake for 19-21 minutes, until firm at the edges but still slightly fudgy in the middle, an inserted skewer will come out with specks of brownie. Cool for 30 minutes in the tin and then carefully lift out to cool fully on a wire rack.
For the frosting, whisk together the yoghurt, peanut butter, cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder till smooth and creamy. Spread over the cooled brownies and top with extra chipped peanut butter cups and pecans.
Slice into 16 squares and keep leftovers for 3-5 days in a sealed container. They should be kept in the fridge where they will firm up more quickly. I like to leave them at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating them. You can also freeze the brownies for up to 1 month, wrapped well and allow to defrost before eating.
*These brownies are delicious without the frosting, too.
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I look forward to hearing what you think of these Pecan Peanut Butter Cup Frosted Brownies so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make these, I’d love to see your brownies so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!